| 2 December 2023, Saturday |

Berri ready to hold parliamentary dialogue to agree on new Lebanese president

Lebanon’s parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said he “will not stand idly by” while lawmakers continue to fail to elect a new president.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Berri revealed he would solicit the views of the parliamentary blocs and party leaders about launching an open dialogue to pave way for the election of a president.

Fears have emerged over a prolonged presidential vacuum given the sharp differences over a presidential candidate. President Michel Aoun’s term ends on October 31.

Senior parliamentary sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Berri was currently working on a set of ideas to reshuffle the cards, paving the way for dialogue that could result in a breakthrough that ends the stalemate.

Berri said the dialogue would be aimed at securing broader parliamentary support for the election of a president through consensus, in order to stop the unprecedented collapse in the country and move towards the stage of recovery.

He underlined that he would not stand idly by as the election of a new president continued to falter, because the country could no longer tolerate the obstruction of work at constitutional institutions.

As for the formation of a government, Berri stressed that he was not interfering in the process, but was rather following up closely on the outcome of the consultations in this regard.

Quoted by his visitors, Berri called for launching “a serious dialogue to initiate concerted efforts to save our country, and allow the parliamentary blocs to agree on a president, who can achieve parliamentary consensus or almost unanimity… because our country can no longer tolerate divisions…”

The speaker also warned against surrendering to the fait accompli and claims that there was no point in dialogue.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat